28 May 2011

Some Fascinating Advice...

...from Pr. David Petersen on pastoral social conventions in the LCMS.  I smiled as I read it and thought how Pr. Plvan will never be "George" to me - he will always be Pr. Plvan.  Same with Pr. Lobien.  Same with Dr. Nagel. 


Anonymous said...

The Apostle Paul tells Timothy to
treat an older man as your father
and to treat a younger man as your
brother. That advice works in the
parish with our members and it also
works with our fellow pastors in
the circuit, district and synod.

Seminary professors earn our respect
in the classroom as teachers and
mentors. We owe them the dignity to
not address them by their first name.

Anonymous said...

When I graduated from the St. Louis
Seminary, 20 of my professors had
a PH.D. and 9 others had an earned
doctorate in either theology or
education. There were also 5 with
a honorary Doctor of Divinity.

The point is we called all of them
professor in the classroom. We saw
them as equal whether they had an
earned doctorate or honorary one.
No student ever said the word doctor.

Terry Maher said...

Hmm. After the succesful defence of my dissertation, I was invited to address my adviser as "Tom".

Professor and Doctor are two different things, which is why German gives both in address.

One can be a professor without being a doctor; one can be (as I am) a doctor without being a professor.

And, I was taught to not use "Doctor" outside of academic or related circles, to avoid confusion in the general public with medical doctors.

Judas H, in Mother England traditionally surgeons are not referred to as "doctor". Medicine and surgery being different fields. Surgeon is Mr.

And in no case use both your title before your name and degrees after it eg Dr Terence J Maher PhD.

For those of us outside Blackbirddom, our pastors are pastors not in virtue of which degrees they may or may not have but their calls, so we should call them "pastor". As to what they call each other among themselves, they can work that out.

Dcn Latif Haki Gaba SSP said...

This discussion can go into any number of directions, which is rather fun to watch. To make a couple of observations, I myself tend to refer, in both 2nd & 3rd person, to a presbyter as "Father" then first name if I know him somewhat familiarly, and "Father" followed by last name if a bit more respectful distance is called for. The exception is that I know some of them to be less than ready for the term "Father" either mentally or emotionally, and in such cases I usually respect that. Regarding all of the above, I am sure I would be the same way if I myself were a presbyter.

Regarding professors and doctors, this is also an interesting topic. For those who also are ordained priests, it is my opinion that the healthiest approach would be to see oneself as "Father" so and so, and put your academic credentials after your name, if you want to show those off, for it is of primary importance that you are a man of the Church, and that you have a gift of God, given to you by the laying on of hands and prayer, and it is worth using even subtle things like form of address as prayerful reminders for yourself that you should always strive to stir up that gift. (Your mode of dress is another such practice which I would argue can be an act of devotion in itself.)

Terry Maher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terry Maher said...

Gott hilf mir seitlich if I am not reminded of the manners we were taught as RC kids re clergy of other faiths. We were to call or refer to the EO (GO actually) priest across the street as Father because he is as much a priest as ours are. We were to refer to the Episcopal priest down the street as Father as a mark of respect for his beliefs and his place in the community but bear in mind he is not really a priest.

At no time did I ever hear any Lutheran pastor of any synod referred to as Father by anyone including Lutherans.

Later, during my 20 some year span as a Righteous of the Nations, while browsing in the local Catholic bookshop which was owned by an Episcopalian, I mentioned that etiquette to the proprietor and asked if now with WO the female priests should be called Mother.

How shameful of me, but at least now I am rid of that impish Bavarianism of which I contracted a severe case while at die Abtei, almost becoming Stercus, OSB, PhD.